For people new to homeopathic preparations: a homeopathic remedy is made by taking a substance and diluting it in water many hundreds or thousands of times. Before each dilution, the substance is vigorously shaken (succussed), which is thought to strengthen the power of the medicine. Unfortunately we don't understand much about how/why this process works, so research like this is of vital importance.
More information found on the HRI website and the full text article is also available.
A homeopathic remedy from arnica, marigold, St. John's wort and comfrey accelerates in vitro wound scratch closure of NIH 3T3 fibroblasts
Hostanska K1, Rostock M, Melzer J, Baumgartner S, Saller R.
BACKGROUND:Drugs of plant origin such as Arnica montana, Calendula officinalis or Hypericum perforatum have been frequently used to promote wound healing. While their effect on wound healing using preparations at pharmacological concentrations was supported by several in vitro and clinical studies, investigations of herbal homeopathic remedies on wound healing process are rare. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a commercial low potency homeopathic remedy Similasan® Arnica plus Spray on wound closure in a controlled, blind trial in vitro.
METHODS:We investigated the effect of an ethanolic preparation composed of equal parts of Arnica montana 4x, Calendula officinalis 4x, Hypericum perforatum 4x and Symphytum officinale 6x (0712-2), its succussed hydroalcoholic solvent (0712-1) and unsuccussed solvent (0712-3) on NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. Cell viability was determined by WST-1 assay, cell growth using BrdU uptake, cell migration by chemotaxis assay and wound closure by CytoSelect ™Wound Healing Assay Kit which generated a defined "wound field". All assays were performed in three independent controlled experiments.
RESULTS:None of the three substances affected cell viability and none showed a stimulating effect on cell proliferation. Preparation (0712-2) exerted a stimulating effect on fibroblast migration (31.9%) vs 14.7% with succussed solvent (0712-1) at 1:100 dilutions (p < 0.001). Unsuccussed solvent (0712-3) had no influence on cell migration (6.3%; p > 0.05). Preparation (0712-2) at a dilution of 1:100 promoted in vitro wound closure by 59.5% and differed significantly (p < 0.001) from succussed solvent (0712-1), which caused 22.1% wound closure.
CONCLUSION:Results of this study showed that the low potency homeopathic remedy (0712-2) exerted in vitro wound closure potential in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. This effect resulted from stimulation of fibroblasts motility rather than of their mitosis.
Differential effects of Zincum metallicum on cell models.
Gonçalves JP1, Dos Santos MLF1, Rossi GR1, Costa Gagosian VS1, de Oliveira CC2.Author information
INTRODUCTION: Zinc is an essential trace element necessary for life. Traditional and complementary medicines use zinc-based formulations to treat different classes of diseases. Basic research on homeopathic preparations of zinc are rare and there are a few published clinical cases describing its effects on patients. The use of cell-based models in drug screening is a reliable source of evidence.
METHODS:We sought to investigate experimental end-points using cell-based models to determine the effects of dilutions of Zincum metallicum prepared according to the Brazilian Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia. Murine RAW 264.7 macrophages and melanoma B16-F10 cell lines were cultured according to standard procedures. Cells were treated with either 5c, 6c or 30c Zincum metallicum and control cells with its respective vehicle (5c, 6c, or 30c Lactose). Macrophage activation by CD54 immunolabeling and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) using DCFH-DA (2,7-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate) were detected by flow cytometry. Phagocytic capacity (endocytic index) was quantified by light microscopy. Features of melanoma cells were analyzed by colorimetric assays to determine melanin content and cell proliferation rate. All obtained data were submitted to normality test followed by statistical analysis.
RESULTS:Zincum metallicum 6c shifted high ROS-producing macrophages to a low ROS-producing phenotype. Macrophage CD54 expression was increased by Zincum metallicum 5c. No changes in endocytic index were observed. Melanoma cells were not affected by any treatment we tested.
CONCLUSIONS:Differing responses and non-linearity were found on macrophages challenged with Zincum metallicum at high dilutions. No changes in melanoma cells were observed. Customised assays using target cells can be useful to investigate high-dilution effects. Other cell types and conditions should be explored.